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      Wapello County Trails Council donates $40,000 to Market St. Bridge improvements

      The Market St. Bridge in Ottumwa has proved to have some wear and tear over the years.

      Because the bridge is at an 8-ton weight limit, school buses and fire trucks are prohibited from crossing. Therefore, it is the cityâ??s plan to make it so those vehicles can cross safely.

      Plans have already been submitted to the state and the Wapello County Trails Council is donating $40,000 to go towards the project.

      â??On two conditions, that the sidewalk be increased from 8 feet to excuse me -- from 5 feet wide to 8 feet wide and also that there'd be no chain link fence on the bridge. So it'd look similar to a walkway like this which in a similar bridge structure in another community,â?? said Joe Helfenberger, Ottumwa City Administrator.

      Additionally, Helfenberger said the Legacy Foundation is interested in helping in financing the structure as well.

      The improvements will cost roughly $900,000 and the basic bridge design is around $3 million.

      The city will be contributing $700,000 towards the basic design and several grants have been received that will help finance it.

      Construction will begin in the next year or two.